My son Jonathan Benjamin and his friend Ben Carlyle hatched this crazy idea a few months ago: to climb Kilimanjaro and then for Jonathan to cycle down the mountain on a unicycle. If successful he will be the first person to have done so. Securing a permit to do this (from the Tanzanian Parks Board) has not been easy, but Jonathan is hugely tenacious and once he has decided to do something nothing gets in his way. Fortunately or unfortunately this does not happen too often! Jonathan had just turned fifteen when he announced he was going to cycle the Cycle Tour (The Argus ) on a unicycle. He was one of 7 unicyclists that started and was the first to officially finish within the cut off time and in the process he raised just short of R40 000.00 for Africa Tikkun.
Just before they decided on this adventure Jonathan was supposed to leave for Europe as part of his gap year. Needless to say those plans went down the drain and as I write this blog they are on route to Tanzania. They start climbing tomorrow.
Ben and Jonathan are also doing this to raise awareness and funds for Inclusive Education South Africa (IESA). This charity promotes and supports the development of more inclusive practices in ordinary pre-schools and schools and to foster increased support of children with learning difficulties, disabilities or other special needs. The boys have both made huge sacrifices to make this trip happen. They are both on a gap year and have been working hard to fund the trip themselves, and in their spare time they have been trying to secure sponsors and funds for the charity. Ben, in particular, writes very well and has done an enormous amount of good work in this regard.
To date they have not been as successful as they had hoped; however people like Kevin Gaynor from Quiver who I cannot speak highly enough of, has kitted them out with some of his amazing quality (and good looking) Quiver outdoor clothing and even made up an attractive heavy duty bag to carry the unicycle and other gear up the mountain. Then there is Trevor Seinen, fondly known as The Beast from Power Bar with a huge heart. Trevor has supplied the them with enough energy with his Power Bar products to summit the mountain a hundred times. Mike Ormrod from ORMS, your one stop photographic store has lent them some vital photographic equipment to document their trip. Johanna Ginsberg from Jetline Action Photo has taken time to dig up photographs of Jonathan riding the Cycle Tour on his unicycle. K-Way has also generously come to the party to supply some crucial gear of their usual high standard. In addition, Donna from Odd Wheel Unicycles has been very generous with products and support of the whole venture. And last, but not least, Wizardz Constantia have donated the printing of a high quality banner depicting the logo’s of all the sponsors, which the boys will carry to the top of Kilimanjaro (if all goes according to plan), to be photographed at the peak.
To all those that have made contributions in various ways to the charity and to Ben and Jonathan a big thank you.
If you would like to make a donation to this worthy charity please click on this link https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/jonathan-and-bens-uni-cycle-kilimanjaro-challenge-
Below I have attached the links to the facebook pages and or web addresses of all involved. Please remember to ‘like’ all their facebook pages.
Ben & Jonathan: https://www.facebook.com/kilimanjaro2by1,
Jetline Action Photo: http://www.actionphoto.net/find_photos.php
Odd Wheel Unicycles: https://www.facebook.com/OddWheelUnicycles
Inclusive Education South Africa: http://www.included.org.za/
Finally enjoy the portfolio of images below